Sunday, September 30, 2018

Pakistani-American Scholar Dr. Moeed Yusuf in Silicon Valley

Pakistani-American scholar Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Associate Vice President of the Asia Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., visited Silicon Valley on September 29, 2018.  Dr. Yusuf  spoke at an event organized by Talk4Pak (talk4pak.com) team to launch his recently published book "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia".

Dr. Moeed Yusuf (L) with Faraz Darvesh


The event was moderated by Faraz Darvesh. It started with a brief intro by Riaz Haq to Talk4Pak followed an introduction to  the main speaker by Dr. Misbah Azam.

Riaz Haq (L) with Faraz Darvesh


Riaz Haq introduced Talk4Pak as a media platform intended to connect Pakistani-Americans with Pakistan to stimulate discussion on issues of interest to the diaspora.  Talk4Pak principals include Faraz Darvesh, Misbah Azam, Sabahat Ashraf, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, and Riaz Haq. Talk4Pak engages with its target audience via social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Talk4Pak produces two regular shows: Viewpoint From Overseas in English and Azad Labon Kay Sath in Urdu.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf Signing Books


Talk4Pak shows feature discussions with analysts, activists, journalists, intellectuals, writers and thinkers. Guests include a range: Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Dr. Adil Najam, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Brigadier Feroz Khan,  Shuja Nawaz, Raoof Hasan, Munir Malik, Jibran Nasir, Ayesha Siddiqa, Asma Jahangir,  Munizae Jahangir, Monis Rahman, Husain Haqqani, Tarek Fatah, Dr. Nyla Ali Khan (grand-daughter of Shaikh Abdullah), Raza Rumi, Zahid Husain, Mazhar Abbas,  Amir Abbas, Farrukh Pitafi, Zarar Khuro, Jared Taylor and others.

Dr. Misbah Azam (L) Introducing Dr. Moeed Yusf


Misbah introduced Dr. Moeed W. Yusuf as Associate Vice president of the Asia Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). Yusuf has been engaged in expanding USIP’s work on Pakistan/South Asia since 2010. His current research focuses on youth and democratic institutions in Pakistan, policy options to mitigate militancy in Pakistan and the South Asian region in general, and U.S. role in South Asian crisis management. His latest book, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia, was released by Stanford University Press in May 2018. The book offers an innovative theory of brokered bargaining to better understand and solve regional nuclear crises.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf Signing Books


In "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia" by Dr. Moeed Yusuf published by Stanford University Press, the author analyzes American diplomacy in three critical periods: Kargil conflict in 1999; the stand-off after the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf with Dinner Attendees


Yusuf argues that the US-Soviet Cold War deterrence model does not apply to the India-Pakistan conflict and offers his theory of "brokered bargaining". In chapters that detail the US role during three India-Pakistan crises, it is clear that the US rejected India's insistence on bilateralism in resolving India-Pakistan disputes.  The author says that "in each episode, the concern about the escalation forced the United States to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards (or promises of) and punishments (or threats of) with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation--ahead of its broader regional or policy interests."

Dt. Moeed Yusuf Speaking at Talk4Pak Silicon Valley Event 


At the talk4pak Silicon Valley event, Dr. Yusuf addressed three areas of focus: 

1. US-Pakistan relations: Yusuf says Washington now sees India, not Pakistan, as its strategic partner in South Asia. Washington's entire relationship with Islamabad today revolves almost exclusively around Afghanistan where American and Pakistani interests do not converge. The only time the United States gets involved in India-Pakistan conflict is when there is a serious crisis that the world fears could escalate into a nuclear confrontation between them. 

2. India-Pakistan Ties: There is no sustained dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve issues such as Kashmir between the two neighbors. Yusuf speculates that India wants to wait it out for the time when its economic and military differential with Pakistan becomes so large that Delhi can dictate terms to Islamabad as the unchallenged regional hegemon. 

3. Afghanistan War: Pakistan does not believe that the Afghan Taliban can be militarily defeated and insists that the United States must talk directly with them to reach a political settlement.  Yusuf now believes that the recent start of direct dialogue between the United States and the Taliban may bring an eventual end to America's longest war.

Audience at Talk4Pak Silicon Valley


Dr. Moeed Yusuf's "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia" is a thought provoking book as is his presentation at the talk4pak Silicon Valley event. Both should stimulate serious discussion of how regional nuclear powers like India and Pakistan can engage with each other more deeply to maintain peace and stability in their neighborhood. This will require both parties, India and Pakistan, to have sustained dialogue to resolve core issues like Kashmir that underly recurring crises.

Here's a video of the presentation at talk4pak event of September 29, 2018:

https://youtu.be/U5qIWAKviHE




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Freeing Colonized Minds in Pakistan

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

Funding of Hate Groups, NGOs, Think Tanks: Is Money Free Speech?

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pakistan Lags in Human Capital Development

Pakistan's human capital has doubled from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016, according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.  However, Pakistan still ranks a poor 164th in the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. India has also more than doubled its human capital from 3 years to 7 years but Bangladesh stands out by tripling its human capital from two years to six years of learning since 1990.  In 2016, the Lancet study shows that 44 countries achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital while 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have less than 10 years of learning, putting them in the category of low human capital countries. Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

What is Human Capital?

Dictionary defines human capital as "the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community".

The Lancet study says it "provides a new measure of expected human capital for 195 countries, consisting of four components: educational attainment, learning, health, and survival, based on a systematic analysis of all available data. This measure, in units of health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years, is estimated each year from 1990 to 2016 and can be updated annually."  Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

Human Capital Growth in South Asia. Source: The Lancet
South Asia's Low Human Capital:

Both Pakistan and India have seen their human capital double from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016 but both still rank low with significantly less than 10 years of learning,  according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.

In fact, the entire South Asia region continues to rank low in terms of human capital. Among South Asian nations, Sri Lanka ranks the highest at 102 (13 years), Maldives 116 (12 years), Bhutan 133 (9 years),  Nepal 156 (7 years),  India 158 (7 years),  Bangladesh 161 (6 years), Pakistan 164 (6 years) and Afghanistan 188 (4 years). Countries with less than 10 years of learning are considered having "low human capital" by the authors of the study.

In 2016, the Lancet study shows that 44 countries achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital while 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have less than 10 years of learning, putting them in the category of low human capital countries.


Change in Global Human Capital Maps. Top 1990, Bottom 2016. Source: Lancet

Global Human Capital Rankings:

Finland tops the human capital charts with 28.4 years of learning, United States ranks 27th with 23 years of learning and Turkey and China rank 43rd and 44th respectively, each with 20 years of learning. The countries with the least human capital are those in sub-Saharan Africa. Mali ranks 191st (3 years), Burkina Faso 192nd (3 years), Chad 193rd (2 years), South Sudan 194th (2 years) and Niger (2 years)  at the very bottom ranked 195th.

Conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in collaboration with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the study on the measurement of human capital has been published in the journal The Lancet.

Impact of Human Capital on Economic Growth:

The Lancet report says that "human capital is characterized as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population, affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity".

Growth in human capital is associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualized growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile, according to the Lancet report.

Human Development in Pakistan: 

In addition to the human capital report by The Lancet, UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) is another indicator of human progress that combines information on people’s health, education and income. The latest Human Development Report (HDR) shows Pakistan's HDI ranking sank to a new low of 150 in 2018.

Pakistan's Human Development Growth Rate By Decades. Source: HDR 2018

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index focusing on three basic dimensions of human development: the ability to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life expectancy at birth; the ability to acquire knowledge, measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and the ability to achieve a decent standard of living, measured by gross national income per capita.

Not only has Pakistan's economy slowed since 2008 but its progress in education sector has seen a dramatic slowdown. Data shows that Pakistan's literacy and enrollment rates are not rising in spite of significantly increased education spending over the last several years. Education budgets at federal and provincial levels have seen double digit increase of 17.5% a year on average since 2010. And yet, school enrollment and literacy rate have remained essentially flat during this period.  This lack of progress in education stands in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes seen from increase education spending during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. Why is it?

Is the money not being spent honestly and wisely? Is the education budget being used by the ruling politicians to create teacher jobs solely for political patronage? Are the teachers not showing up for work? Is the money being siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians by hiring "ghost teachers" in "ghost schools"? Let's try and examine the data and the causes of lack of tangible results from education spending.

Pakistan Education Budget:

The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17,  representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.



Education and Literacy Rates:

Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Four Levels of Development:

The extensive data compilation and research by Professor Hans Rosling of Sweden has shown that the binary categorization of nations into developed and developing is no longer useful. Instead, he has proposed using 4 levels of development based on health and wealth indicators, a proposal that has now been accepted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Here's how Rosling and the United Nations define these 4 levels:

1. Level 1: One billion people live on level 1. This is what we think of as extreme poverty. If you’re on level 1, you survive on less than $2 a day and get around by walking barefoot. Your food is cooked over an open fire, and you spend most of your day traveling to fetch water. At night, you and your children sleep on a dirt floor.

2. Level 2: Three billion people live on level 2, between $2 and $8 a day. Level 2 means that you can buy shoes and maybe a bike, so it doesn’t take so long to get water. Your kids go to school instead of working all day. Dinner is made over a gas stove, and your family sleeps on mattresses instead of the floor.

Level 3: Two billion people live on level 3, between $8 and $32 a day. You have running water and a fridge in your home. You can also afford a motorbike to make getting around easier. Some of your kids start (and even finish) high school.

Level 4: One billion people live on level 4. If you spend more than $32 a day, you’re on level 4. You have at least a high school education and can probably afford to buy a car and take a vacation once in a while.

Imran Khan's Ambitious Agenda:

Imran Khan laid out his agenda in his first speech to the nation after taking the office of the prime minister.  It was more like a fireside chat in which he spoke directly to the people to explain his priorities that emphasize education,  health care and human development. These are the keys to leading Pakistan from level 2 to level 3. In order to pursue his priorities, Mr. Khan needs to first address the more urgent economic crisis which he acknowledged. Pakistan needs to deal with excessive public debt and pay for the necessary imports to move forward.  He must also deal with financial corruption and mismanagement to free up the resources for his ambitious agenda of economic and human development of the nation.

Mr. Khan will almost certainly face stiff opposition from the status quo forces which stand to lose from the changes he seeks. They will fight to preserve their patronage networks and their power and privilege. They will try to bring down his coalition government with all they have got. They might even threaten his personal safety and security.

Democracy and Development:

Professor Hans Rosling has compiled extensive socioeconomic data and done serious research to understand how nations develop. He has shared his work in "Factfulness" that he co-wrote with his son Ola Rosling and daughter Anna Rosling Ronnlund. Here's an except on democracy and development from Factfulness:

"This is risky but I am going to argue it anyway. I strongly believe that liberal democracy is the best way to run a country. People like me, who believe this, are often tempted to argue that democracy leads to, or its even a requirement for, other good things, like peace, social progress, health improvement, and economic growth. But here's the thing, and it is hard to accept: the evidence does not support this stance.

Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 faster than any other country had ever done (without finding oil), all the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy.

Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It's better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like."

Summary:

Pakistan's human capital has doubled from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016, according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.  However, Pakistan still ranks a poor 164th in the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. India has also doubled its human capital from 3 years to 6 years but Bangladesh stands out by tripling its human capital from two years to six years of learning since 1990.  Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018. Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has laid out an ambitious agenda that could accelerate Pakistan's human development progress to take his country from level 2 to level 3 of socioeconomic development. It is achievable but the odds are against him because he faces stiff opposition from the status quo forces. The powerful dynastic duopoly of PPP and PMLN still dominates Pakistan's Senate whose support will be required for major reforms. The research by Professor Hans Rosling shows: "Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy." It's also supported by Pakistan's economic history where pace of development has consistently been faster under military governments than during civilian democratic rule. Can Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership change the course of history and deliver faster human progress under democratic rule? Let's wait and see.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Modi's Flip-Flop Diplomacy: "Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa" to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden U-turn on foreign minister level talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly has come under fire from within India. The top Indian critics of Mr. Modi's flip-fop include former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Mr. Sharat Sabharwal, ex foreign secretary Nirupama Menon Rao and seasoned journalists Suhasini Haider and Shekhar Gupta.

Pakistan's new prime minister Mr. Imran Khan extended his hand of friendship to India that led to a mutual agreement for the two countries to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming annual UN General Assembly meeting. However, the foreign minister level meeting was canceled by India a couple of days later with a nasty message from Indian foreign ministry to Prime Minister Imran Khan alleging that he has shown his "true face" and exposed his "evil agenda". Prime Minister Imran Khan responded with an equally nasty tweet talking of "small men occupying big offices" that do not have the vision to see the larger picture" without naming Prime Minister Modi.

Nirupama Rao asked in a tweet: "Why is diplomacy seen as a cave-in when it comes to India-Pakistan relations?" And then went to say that "a meeting in New York is not an instrument of surrender".  Ex High Commissioner Sabharwal said in a tweet: "IFS (Indian Foreign Service) does not draft such election oriented statements or take such hasty flip flop decisions. Seems handiwork of 'muscular' thinking. More 'brawn' than 'brain'!" 

Ex Indian diplomats' chorus of criticism was joined by journalist Shekhar Gupta who tweeted: "Is this MEA statement drafted by the same dudes who write scripts for commando-comic channels? And seriously: can’t believe IFS drafted it. They know Imran has been PM for exactly a month, not “first few months.”" Suhasini Haider chimed in with a tweet of her own: "Clumsier still is the MEA statement. Have seldom seen such a crudely worded and badly articulated explanation from our diplomats."

The clumsy excuses like the "latest killing" along LoC in Kashmir and Burhan Wani postage stamps for cancellation have also been questioned by "The Wire Analysis" published in thewire.in.  The "latest killing" occurred before Indian government agreed to the meeting and the planned Burhan Wani stamp release was also known well in advance.

So why did it go from the hopeful meeting to saber rattling between the two South Asian neighbors? Did the Modi government cave in to pressure from within his Hindu Nationalist base? Have India's far right-wing leaders whipped up so much anti-Pakistan hysteria that they have made it extremely difficult to talk peace and friendship with the western neighbor? Has the talk of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) radicalized Mr. Modi's base and left little room to maneuver for his government on its Pakistan policy?

Here's a discussion on the subject:

https://youtu.be/CjG2qCp17VQ



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Who's India's Real Enemy? China? Pakistan?

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan Disappears by 2015

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Modi-Imran Acrimony; IHC Order to Release Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's new prime minister Mr. Imran Khan extended his hand of friendship to India that led to a mutual agreement for the two countries to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming annual UN General Assembly meeting. However, the foreign minister level meeting was canceled by India a couple of days later with a nasty message from Indian foreign ministry to Prime Minister Imran Khan alleging that he has shown his "true face" and exposed his "evil agenda". Prime Minister Imran Khan responded with an equally nasty tweet talking of "small men occupying big offices" that do not have the vision to see the larger picture" without naming Prime Minister Modi.

Why did it go from the hopeful meeting to saber rattling between the two South Asian neighbors? Did the Modi government cave in to pressure from within his Hindu Nationalist base? Have India's leaders whipped up so much anti-Pakistan hysteria that they have made it extremely difficult to talk peace and friendship with the western neighbor? Has the talk of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) radicalized Mr. Modi's base and left little room to maneuver for his government on its Pakistan policy?

Islamabad High Court suspended the sentences of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law and ordered their release while Prime Minister Imran Khan was in Saudi Arabia on a state visit. Did this release happen under a deal involving the Saudi Royal Family? Or is it a mere coincidence?

Azad Labon Kay Saath host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam, Sabahat Ashraf and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/CjG2qCp17VQ




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Who's India's Real Enemy? China? Pakistan?

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan Disappears by 2015

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

Friday, September 21, 2018

Nastaliq Fonts and Islamic Ligatures Supported on New iPhone XS and XS Max

Apple's iPhone XS and XS Max with iOS 12 went on sale at stores across the United States today Sept 21, 2018.

Silicon-Valley based Pakistani-American Mudassir Azeemi was among the first to check out the new Urdu support features in Apple iOS 12 that came with the new iPhones. Mudassir has been working with both Apple and Google mobile operating systems to support Nastaliq Urdu fonts and Islamic ligatures such as  and   on their smartphones.

Here's what he reported yesterday:

"When I was filing bugs related to #Urdu and #Nastaleeq (about to be implemented) on iOS Devices in

2015. I requested Apple to include the word ligature. That ligature is calligraphic version of salutation on Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him and proper display of word Allah ﷲ. Guess what? It’s there! I just came to know about it today. I feel that Apple is the only company that really listen to you and make sure a superb experience for its customer. ﷲ ﷺ There are few more added : Alayhe Assallam ؑ, shorter version of Sallallahou Alayhe Wassallam ؐ, Rahmatullah Alayhe ؒ and Radi Allahou Anhu ؓ. PS: This is introduced in iOS 12. I just verified it."


History of Nastaliq on Apple:

It all started when Apple included nastaliq font in iOS 9 Beta 1 after a persistent campaign by Mudassir Azeemi. Unfortunately, it was later dropped in the released version of iOS X.  But Mudassir continued his efforts which bore fruit with iOS 11.  Apple has since dropped naskh in default mode and support only nastaliq in native mode for rendering Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages.

Naskh vs Nastaliq:

Apple today supports naskh font which are used for Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Most Urdu lovers, however, prefer the beauty of nastaliq font. Here's how South Asian writer Ali Eteraz describes the two fonts:

"Looking at the (rendering of the two fonts), the discerning eye may immediately realize why naskh trumps nastaliq on digital devices. With its straightness and angularity, naskh is simply easier to code, because unlike nastaliq, it doesn’t move vertically and doesn’t have dots adhering to a strict pattern. And we all know how techies opt for functionality. Utility being the mother of expansion, naskh is quickly phasing out nastaliq on the web. BBC-Urdu and Urdu Voice of America both use naskh; so does Alarabiya Urdu. And if you want to write an SMS in nastaliq, you must use naskh as well. Same holds true for social media: Facebook, naskh; Twitter, naskh; blogs, naskh."

Use of Image Files:

Nastaliq lovers like Pakistan's Jang Media Group and others have not given up on their preferred script. Instead of using naskh, they have resorted to using uploaded image files for publishing content on their websites.

Other Platforms:

Unfortunately, none of the other operating systems support nastaliq in native mode yet. They all support naskh which is becoming the dominant font for Urdu along with Arabic and Persian. However, Mudassir Azeemi believes that Apple's decision to only support nastaliq in native mode will influence all operating system vendors and social media apps like twitter and Facebook to start using nastaliq as default for Urdu.

Summary:

Apple iOS 12 operating system that came installed with the new iPhones supports Nastaliq Urdu fonts and Islamic ligatureApple's decision to drop naskh and include nastaliq as the default font for Urdu, Arabic and Persian is likely to have a major impact on all operating systems and social media platforms. It's welcome news for Urdu lovers like Ali Eteraz and Mudassir Azeemi who have been deeply unhappy with what they describe as "the death of the Urdu script".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Saving Urdu in its Birthplace

Smartphones to Close Digital Divide in Pakistan

Pakistan Mobile Broadband Speeds Fastest in South Asia

Pakistani-American Foundation Releases Khan Academy's Videos in Urdu

Cemendtaur's Book Launch at Urdu Academy in Silicon Valley

US Mining Urdu Content on Facebook, Twitter

Sesame Street Adapted For Pakistan in Urdu

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Trump's America Shutting Out Muslim Refugees

 Only 20,918 refugees have so far been admitted to the US in fiscal year 2018, despite the cap being set at 45,000. Of those admitted, Muslim refugees have been hit the hardest with their share dropping to 14.5%, the lowest since 2001. At the same time, the Christian refugees share rose to nearly 71%, the highest since 2001, according to data compiled by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This data provides incontrovertible evidence of U.S. President Donald J. Trump's Islamophobia and xenophobia.



Turkey is the largest and Pakistan is the second largest host country for refugees worldwide. Turkey has nearly 3.5 million refugees mostly from Syria. Pakistan has 1.4 million refugees mainly of Afghan origin. Germany is the only western country that shows up among the top 10 host countries for refugees. Most of the rest are Muslim majority countries.



The number of Muslim refugees admitted into the U.S. dropped from more than 9,000 in the 2017 fiscal year to fewer than 2,000 with less than a month left in FY 2018 — an 80% drop, according to Axios:

Myanmar: A majority of Muslim refugees accepted into the U.S. in FY 2018 have come from Myanmar, where thousands of Muslim-majority Rohingya have been killed in an ethnic cleansing and hundreds of thousands have fled.

Somalia: The number of refugees admitted from the Muslim-majority, African nation of Somalia has dropped by 96% compared to last fiscal year. For no known reasons, the White House expressed particular concern over allowing refugees from Somalia into the U.S., former chief of the refugee affairs division at USCIS Barbara Stack told Zoe Chace in the latest episode of This American Life.

The year of Islamophobia began in earnest on January 20, 2017 with the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump who called for "total and complete shutdown" of  Muslims entering the United States during his successful electoral campaign. Among the first executive orders he signed was a "Muslim Ban" from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Then came an avalanche of a large number of Islamophobic tweets and retweets from Trump's twitter account. Some recent Trump retweets were of tweets from Britain First's Jayda Fransen. These tweets and retweets were swiftly denounced by top British and Dutch officials. Trump did not apologize.

Trump developed a pattern of using terror attacks to tweet against Muslims while ignoring similar or worse terror attacks by others.

Trump closed the year with recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a recognition that prior US administrations had withheld pending negotiations and final settlement of the issues between Israelis and Palestinians.

Only 20,918 refugees have so far been admitted to the U.S., despite the cap being set at 45,000 for fiscal year 2018. Of those admitted, Muslim refugees have been hit the hardest with their share dropping to 14.5% while the Christian refugees share rose to nearly 71%, according to data compiled by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This data provides incontrovertible evidence of U.S. President Donald J. Trump's Islamophobia and xenophobia. The simultaneous rise of Neo Nazis in the West and the Hindu Nazis in India represents a very serious and growing threat to world peace. Their combined menace can lead to further global instability and increased violence if these trends are not halted and reversed soon. I hope good sense prevails among the voters in these countries to pull the world back from the brink of human catastrophe.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Hindu Nationalists Love Nazis

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream in 2017

A Conversation With White Nationalist Jared Taylor on Race in America

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Modi and Trump

Anders Breivik: Islamophobia in Europe and India

Hindu Nationalism Goes Global

Hindutva: The Legacy of the British Raj

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pakistani-American Scholar on US Role as Peace Broker in South Asia

Pakistani-American scholar Dr. Moeed Yusuf has examined the role of the United States in defusing South Asian crises since the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998.

In "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia" by Dr. Moeed Yusuf published by Stanford University Press, the author analyzes American diplomacy in three critical periods: Kargil conflict in 1999; the stand-off after the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Yusuf argues that the US-Soviet Cold War deterrence model does not apply to the India-Pakistan conflict and offers his theory of "brokered bargaining". In chapters that detail the US role during three India-Pakistan crises, it is clear that the US rejected India's insistence on bilateralism in resolving India-Pakistan disputes.  The author says that "in each episode, the concern about the escalation forced the United States to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards (or promises of) and punishments (or threats of) with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation--ahead of its broader regional or policy interests."

It seems that Yusuf accepts the widely-held assumption that India enjoys insurmountable conventional military superiority over Pakistan. Many speculate that the difference between the conventional military strengths of the two South Asian rivals is so great that Pakistan would be forced to quickly resort to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an Indian attack. Such assumptions and speculations are challenged by Professor Walter Ladwig of the War Studies Department at London's Kings College, Meenakshi Sood of Delhi-based Indian Army think tank called The Center for Land Warfare Studies, and other scholars.

Professor Walter Ladwig believes that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege".  Pakistan's  NCWF (New Concept of War Fighting) developed in response to India's CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) is designed to "mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot", according to Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood. Ladwig sums it up well: "Despite a growing technological edge (over Pakistan) in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

One could argue that Yusuf gives too much credit to the US efforts in de-escalating India-Pakistan crises. It creates the impression that brown leaders are less rational than their white counterparts in dealing with existential crises. It perpetuates the stereotype that only a select few nations in the West can be trusted with weapons of mass destruction.  It justifies the nuclear Apartheid being pursued by the United States in the form of nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).  Could it be that the author's research is heavily influenced by the fact that he works for the United States Institute of Peace which is a US government-funded Washington think tank?

Overall, Dr. Moeed Yusuf's "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia" is a thought provoking book. It should stimulate serious discussion of how regional nuclear powers like India and Pakistan can engage with each other more deeply to maintain peace and stability in their neighborhood. This will require both parties, India and Pakistan, to have sustained dialog to resolve core issues like Kashmir that underly recurring crises.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Freeing Colonized Minds in Pakistan

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

Funding of Hate Groups, NGOs, Think Tanks: Is Money Free Speech?

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pakistani Population in America Reaches 600,000

Foreign-born Pakistani immigrant population in the United States rose 31% since 2010 to reach nearly 400,000 as of 2017. This figure includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), temporary workers, and foreign students from Pakistan. An earlier 2015 estimate put the number of  US-born Pakistani-Americans at 180,000.  It is safe to assume that the total number of Pakistanis in the United States exceeds 600,000 in 2018.

Origins of Foreign-Born Americans. Source: Pew Research

2017 US Census Update:


On September 13, 2018, the US Census Bureau released some of the data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The survey reflects the U.S. population as of July 1, 2017.

The source countries with the largest increases in the number immigrants since 2010 are India (up 830,215), China (up 677,312), the Dominican Republic (up 283,381), Philippines (up 230,492), Cuba (up 207,124), El Salvador (up 187,783), Venezuela (up 167,105), Colombia (up 146,477), Honduras (up 132,781), Guatemala (up 128,018), Nigeria (up 125,670), Brazil (up 111,471), Vietnam (up 102,026), Bangladesh (up 95,005), Haiti (up 92,603), and Pakistan (up 92,395).

The sending countries with the largest percentage increases since 2010 are Nepal (up 120%), Burma (up 95%), Venezuela (up 91%), Afghanistan (up 84%), Saudi Arabia (up 83%), Syria (up 75%), Bangladesh (up 62%), Nigeria (up 57%), Kenya (up 56%), India (up 47%), Iraq (up 45%), Ethiopia (up 44%), Egypt (up 34%), Brazil (up 33%), Dominican Republic and Ghana (up 32%), China (up 31%), Pakistan (up 31%), and Somalia (up 29%).

The states with the largest increases in the number of immigrants since 2010 are Florida (up 721,298), Texas (up 712,109), California (up 502,985), New York (up 242,769), New Jersey (up 210,481), Washington (up 173,891), Massachusetts (up 172,908), Pennsylvania (up 154,701), Virginia (up 151,251), Maryland (up 124,241), Georgia (up 123,009), Michigan (up 116,059), North Carolina (up 110,279), and Minnesota (up 107,760).

The states with the largest percentage increase since 2010 are North Dakota (up 87%), Delaware (up 37%), West Virginia (up 33%), South Dakota (up 32%), Wyoming (up 30%), Minnesota (up 28%), Nebraska (up 28%), Pennsylvania (up 21%), Utah (up 21%), Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Washington, and Iowa (each up 20%). The District of Columbia's immigrant population was up 25%.

Education and Income Levels of Pakistani-Americans:

56% of Pakistani-Americans have at least a bachelor's degree, much higher than 33% of Americans with college degrees. Among Pakistani-American college grads, 33% have a bachelor's degree while 23% have master's or Ph.Ds.

Median annual income of Pakistani-American households is $60,000, higher than the $50,000 median household income of all Americans. 33% of Pakistani-American households earn at least $90,000 while 18% earn more than $140,000.

Pakistani Doctors in America:

Pakistan is the third biggest source of foreign doctors who make up a third of all practicing physicians in the United States, according to OECD. Vast majority of Muslim doctors in America are of Pakistani origin.  Among them is Dr.Mark Humayun who was awarded top US medal for technology by President Barack Obama in 2016.

About 30% of the 800,000 doctors, or about 240,000 doctors, currently practicing in America are of foreign origin, according to Catholic Health Association of the United States. Predictions vary, but according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, by 2025 the U.S. will be short about 160,000 physicians. This gap will most likely be filled by more foreign doctors.

Foreign Doctors in US, UK. Source: OECD


As of 2013, there are over 12,000 Pakistani doctors, or about 5% of all foreign physicians and surgeons, in practice in the United States.  Pakistan is the third largest source of foreign-trained doctors. India tops with 22%, or 52,800 doctors. It is followed by the Philippines with 6%, or 14,400 foreign-trained doctors. India and Pakistan also rank as the top two sources of foreign doctors in the United Kingdom.

Pakistanis in Silicon Valley:

is home to 12,000 to 15,000 Pakistani Americans. Thousands of them are working at Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, Oracle, Twitter and hundreds of other high-tech companies from small start-ups to large Fortune 500 corporations. Pakistani-Americans are contributing to what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee describe as "The Second Machine Age" in a recent book with the same title.

A Representative Sample of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley
Pakistani-Americans are the largest foreign-born Muslim group in San Francisco Bay Area that includes Silicon Valley, according to a 2013 study. The study was commissioned by the One Nation Bay Area Project, a civic engagement program supported by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, Marin Community Foundation and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

 Overall, US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in the Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.

Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, advisers, mentors, venture capitalists, investment bankers, accountants and lawyers make up a growing ecosystem in Silicon Valley. Dozens of Pakistani-American founded start-ups have been funded by top venture capital firms. Many such companies have either been acquired in M&A deals or gone public by offering shares for sale at major stock exchanges. Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) has become a de facto platform for networking among Pakistani-American entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. It holds an annual event called OPEN Forum which attracts over 500 attendees.

Entertainment and Sports:

Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani-American actor-comedian, recently made news with the successful release of his feature film The Big Sick on hundreds of screens across the United States.  It is a cross-culture romantic comedy based on actual events that breaks new ground by casting a brown-skinned Pakistani-American in a lead role in a movie produced and widely screened in the United States. Acquired by Amazon Studios for $12 million after a bidding war at Sundance film festival, the film has already grossed over $36 million so far.

Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American engineer who made his multi-billion dollar fortune in auto industry, became only non-white owner of an NFL franchise team when he bought Jacksonville Jaguars for $760 million in 2011.

Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers franchise general manager is a Pakistani-American named Farhan Zaidi, an MIT and Berkeley-educated economist.

Kamala Khan is a new Ms. Marvel comic book character created by Pakistani-American Sana Amanat for Marvel Entertainment. Kamala is both female and Muslim. It is part of the American comic giant's efforts to reflect a growing diversity among its readers.

Academy Award winning Hollywood hits Frozen, Life of Pi and The Golden Compass have one thing in common:  Each used extensive computer-generated imagery (CGI) created by Pakistani-American Mir Zafar Ali who won Oscar statuettes for "Best Visual Effects" in each of them.

Pakistani-American Organizations:

Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora (RAD) program identified 79 Pakistani-American organizations. Of these, 5 organizations had revenue exceeding $1m while two had over $200,000 in their most recent fiscal year. The top organizations are The Citizens Foundation (TCF), the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America (APNA) and the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN). Other large organizations are American Pakistan Foundation, Imran Khan Cancer Foundation and Human Development Foundation (HDF). These organization help raise funds for education, health care and other development and human welfare activities in Pakistan.

Trump's America:

Some Pakistani-Americans, like members of other ethnic and religious minorities, are alarmed by the increasing bigotry in America since the election of President Donald Trump. This is particularly true of places like New York's Little Pakistan were Pakistanis were targeted after 911 terrorist attacks. At the height of the sweep, over 20,000 people in Brooklyn’s South Asian communities left the United States, a COPO survey found, according to Gotham Gazette, a New York City publication. Many sought political asylum in Canada and Australia, and some returned to Pakistan and other countries. A number of them never returned. Many had their legitimate US immigration applications pending at the time. Others had their cases in immigration courts and they were waiting for disposition by judges.

Summary:

There are an estimated 600,000 Pakistanis in the United States as of 2018. With few exceptions, most Pakistani-Americans, making up a tiny fraction of the US population, are thriving. They have significantly higher incomes and education levels than the general US population.  Pakistani-Americans are engaged in diverse occupations ranging from doctors, engineers and lawyers to large and small business owners and drivers. In addition to participating in local philanthropic and community activities, several Pakistani-American organizations help raise funds for schools, hospitals and other human welfare activities in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

New York's Little Pakistan

Pakistan is the 3rd Largest Source of Foreign Doctors in America

Pakistani-American Stars in "Big Sick" Movie

Pakistani-American Population Growth 2nd Fastest Among Asian-Americans

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

A Dozen British Pakistanis in UK Pariament

Trump and Modi

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani-American Cofounders Sell Startup to Cisco for $610 million

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 




Saturday, September 15, 2018

US-China Competition in Pakistan; CPEC's Future; RIP Kulsoom Nawaz

Are the United States and China really vying for influence in Pakistan as the American business publication Wall Street Journal claims? What is the big prize at stake? Does Pakistan hold the key to who wins the competition to claim the top spot as a global superpower?

How will the US-China competition affect Pakistan? Will Pakistan get IMF bailout or Chinese bailout? Will CPEC development slow down or accelerate? Will China invest in export oriented industries in Pakistan and buy more Pakistani products? How will PTI government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan handling the situation? Will they play their cards well to get maximum benefits for Pakistan?

What is the impact of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's passing on Nawaz Sharif family? Is it more than a family's tragedy? What does it mean for Pakistani politics and Nawaz Sharif's future?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with panelists Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqeer) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/BQTixVzfmiE




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring Balance of Payment Crisis?

Pakistan Economy Hobbled By Underinvestment

Pakistan's IT Exports Surging

China and US Battle For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Chinese Yuan to Replace US $ as Reserve Currency?

Remittances From Overseas Pakistanis

Can Imran Khan Lead Pakistan to the Next Level?

China to Expand Manufacturing in Special Economic Zones

Pakistan's Human Development Ranking Hits New Low of 150 After Decade of Democracy

Pakistan's human development ranking plunged to 150 this year, down from 149 last year. It is worse than Bangladesh at 136, India at 130 and Nepal at 149. The decade of democracy under Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has produced the slowest annual growth rate in the last 30 years. The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

Human Development in Pakistan: 

UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) represents human progress in one indicator that combines information on people’s health, education and income.

Pakistan's Human Development Growth Rate By Decades. Source: HDR 2018

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index focusing on three basic dimensions of human development: the ability to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life expectancy at birth; the ability to acquire knowledge, measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and the ability to achieve a decent standard of living, measured by gross national income per capita.

Not only has Pakistan's economy slowed since 2008 but its progress in education sector has seen a dramatic slowdown. Data shows that Pakistan's literacy and enrollment rates are not rising in spite of significantly increased education spending over the last several years. Education budgets at federal and provincial levels have seen double digit increase of 17.5% a year on average since 2010. And yet, school enrollment and literacy rate have remained essentially flat during this period.  This lack of progress in education stands in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes seen from increase education spending during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. Why is it?

Is the money not being spent honestly and wisely? Is the education budget being used by the ruling politicians to create teacher jobs solely for political patronage? Are the teachers not showing up for work? Is the money being siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians by hiring "ghost teachers" in "ghost schools"? Let's try and examine the data and the causes of lack of tangible results from education spending.

Pakistan Education Budget:

The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17,  representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.



Education and Literacy Rates:

Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Four Levels of Development:

The extensive data compilation and research by Professor Hans Rosling of Sweden has shown that the binary categorization of nations into developed and developing is no longer useful. Instead, he has proposed using 4 levels of development based on health and wealth indicators, a proposal that has now been accepted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Here's how Rosling and the United Nations define these 4 levels:

1. Level 1: One billion people live on level 1. This is what we think of as extreme poverty. If you’re on level 1, you survive on less than $2 a day and get around by walking barefoot. Your food is cooked over an open fire, and you spend most of your day traveling to fetch water. At night, you and your children sleep on a dirt floor.

2. Level 2: Three billion people live on level 2, between $2 and $8 a day. Level 2 means that you can buy shoes and maybe a bike, so it doesn’t take so long to get water. Your kids go to school instead of working all day. Dinner is made over a gas stove, and your family sleeps on mattresses instead of the floor.

Level 3: Two billion people live on level 3, between $8 and $32 a day. You have running water and a fridge in your home. You can also afford a motorbike to make getting around easier. Some of your kids start (and even finish) high school.

Level 4: One billion people live on level 4. If you spend more than $32 a day, you’re on level 4. You have at least a high school education and can probably afford to buy a car and take a vacation once in a while.

Imran Khan's Ambitious Agenda:

Imran Khan laid out his agenda in his first speech to the nation after taking the office of the prime minister.  It was more like a fireside chat in which he spoke directly to the people to explain his priorities that emphasize education,  health care and human development. These are the keys to leading Pakistan from level 2 to level 3. In order to pursue his priorities, Mr. Khan needs to first address the more urgent economic crisis which he acknowledged. Pakistan needs to deal with excessive public debt and pay for the necessary imports to move forward.  He must also deal with financial corruption and mismanagement to free up the resources for his ambitious agenda of economic and human development of the nation.

Mr. Khan will almost certainly face stiff opposition from the status quo forces which stand to lose from the changes he seeks. They will fight to preserve their patronage networks and their power and privilege. They will try to bring down his coalition government with all they have got. They might even threaten his personal safety and security.

Democracy and Development:

Professor Hans Rosling has compiled extensive socioeconomic data and done serious research to understand how nations develop. He has shared his work in "Factfulness" that he co-wrote with his son Ola Rosling and daughter Anna Rosling Ronnlund. Here's an except on democracy and development from Factfulness:

"This is risky but I am going to argue it anyway. I strongly believe that liberal democracy is the best way to run a country. People like me, who believe this, are often tempted to argue that democracy leads to, or its even a requirement for, other good things, like peace, social progress, health improvement, and economic growth. But here's the thing, and it is hard to accept: the evidence does not support this stance.

Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 faster than any other country had ever done (without finding oil), all the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy.

Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It's better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like."

Summary:

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018. Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has laid out an ambitious agenda that could accelerate Pakistan's human development progress to take his country from level 2 to level 3 of socioeconomic development. It is achievable but the odds are against him because he faces stiff opposition from the status quo forces. The powerful dynastic duopoly of PPP and PMLN still dominates Pakistan's Senate whose support will be required for major reforms. The research by Professor Hans Rosling shows: "Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy." It's also supported by Pakistan's economic history where pace of development has consistently been faster under military governments than during civilian democratic rule. Can Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership change the course of history and deliver faster human progress under democratic rule? Let's wait and see.